Ecclesiastical | Cole Henson

Image: Adrien Stachowiak

There is a time to think and a time to do
and a time to observe the purple-orange sun
as it introduces itself to the gold-laced clouds of morning

There is a time to lose and a time to find
and a time to sputter away like a balloon struck by a pin
returning to its first flaccid form, only now stuck in a tree

There is a time for victory and a time for forfeit
and a time to wrap yourself in gray matter
as caustic water fills the buckets yoked upon your shoulders

There is a time for peace and a time for war
and a time to set fire to the playing-card kings
who spew bile between bites of pork and cake

There is a time to sing and a time to scream
and a time to conversate in whispers with her
cars and trains crying as they labor outside your window

There is a time to keep and a time to release
and a time to meld with the river rocks
as the frigidity nibbles at your toes

There is a time for all and a time for none
and a time for every time as we waltz and collide
through our kaleidoscope universe

Cole Henson (he/him) is a poet, playwright, and humorist currently residing in Denver, Colorado. He has received numerous accolades for his work, namely from his mother, fiancée, and dog. He can be found on Instagram @cyranowhere

Thursday | Jackson Culpepper

Image: Jeremy Vessey

Hoarse chimes of the clock		- - Stars float in slower time
All needs of the day, immediate	--  The moon a pensive sliver
My blood is a to-do list, circling	 -- Crepuscular stir and watch
My bones a calendar, days creaking The cold is a single clear note
Paper, then screens, these walls	- - The ridge gleams amid the dark
Anxious shoulder, spine’s regret	- - Light and cold regard one another
What is time but lines and curves -  And Earth awaits her warmth
What is time but a moving whip	-   The sun breaks, a silent promise
Work, a twitch at the mouth		-- A billion tiny eyes await
Work for whom? Forever whom	- -A million tiny bodies, wrapped against cold
Where is my soul in all of this?	-- They emerge, they trod, they watch the sky
One meeting, five meetings, 		-- A dawning world of hawk and rabbit
Will there be a real meeting?		-- Deer tails wait to hie, among their quiet steps
I know the world is wrong–		-- Foxes keep silence like antique monks
Then what can I do right?		-- The creek is dauntless, indefatigable
Let me throw one starfish		-- Water cares not for freezing, for warmth nor cold
Grace of graces, let me know it	-- A day of walking, watching, eating, killing, giving
Let me live someway here		-- Always parents for their children
Where they took away the paths	-- Always under a glowing, constant sky. 

Jackson Culpepper (he/they) grew up in Georgia and has since lived in Southern Appalachia, the mountain west, and the desert southwest. His debut short story collection, Songs on the Water, is forthcoming in August from Homebound Publications, where he won the Landmark Prize for fiction. He lives and teaches first-year English in the Denver area. You can find him on Instagram @JCCulpepper and online at

Soon | Quinn Ponds

Image: Pawel Czerwinski


When I was little my Da was still in the Navy. I would often miss him and sit on my mum’s lap and cry, “When is he coming home?” She would tell me gently, trying to ease my heart, “soon”. I would always ask how long “soon” was, but was always told: “It is soon”.
—-In my mind the word “soon” sounded like the sun as it was setting, orange and yellow mixing in the sky and extinguished on the horizon. It seemed like “soon” would only be a day.As I grew older I realized “soon” was much longer. I learned that “soon” is what adults say when they do not have an answer. I began to believe that “soon” did not exist. Now that I am older I realize “soon” is so much longer. “Soon” can be months. It can be years, but it never feels “soon”.”Soon” is always an uncertainty, never a promise.
—-“Soon” can be a lifetime.

Quinn Ponds‘ education and career are in psychology, but she has always held a passion for writing short stories and poetry. There is certainly something to be noted about using psychology in writing fiction! One of her humorous poems about tacos has been published in The PHiX- Phoenix Magazine, and a short fiction piece titled “The Humid Hours” can be found in The Dark Sire Literary Journal. Her cat-themed flash fiction “Baby’s Breath” is in Literally Stories, July 27th, 2022 and her latest published story, “Gather the Darkness” can be enjoyed at Everyday Fiction, December 21st, 2022.

Languishing | Eli Whittington

Image: Josh Hoehne


How we languished!
How we laid, and sat, and crouched
In shady buildings
As the sun burned above
How we scrolled, eyes rolled
How we tucked fingers into familiar patterns
Familiar shapes greeted us
How we giggled inanely at short silly videos
How we condemned
Strangers from afar
How we fretted!
How we exhausted ourselves
Doing nothing
And never slept.

How we languished!
In the shade we laid
And sat and crouched
On porch steps and stoops
As the sun burned
Freckles into polaroids of summer memories
How we rolled cigarettes
And plucked strings
Into familiar patterns
How we condemned politicians from afar
And fretted
About garden pests and
Polluted rivers.
How we exhausted ourselves
Doing nothing.

And O!
How we languished!
Grins splitting like ripe fruit as we
Sat and crouched
On leaf-littered ground and
Moss-covered tree-limbs
We laid in the shade of fruit-bearing trees
As the sun simmered above
How our eyes glazed in the dappled shade of the canopy
How we tucked fingers into familiar fur
Nibbled our neighbors lice
Giggled inanely
At our children’s antics
How we napped!
How we fought
Strangers from afar and
How we fretted
When the storms
And the big cats came
How we exhausted ourselves
Doing nothing
And slept
Like the dead.

Eli Whittington published a book entitled “Treat Me Like You Treat the Earth” in 2019 through Suspect Press. Eli is a queer, bi-polar Colorado-raised and Denver-abiding poet.  They are a parent, a singer/songwriter, gardener, carpenter, tiler, biker, and hiker.  Despite these character flaws, they do not enjoy IPAs.  Their love of folk-punk remains unexplained, as they are not an addict, are well over 20, and have functioning eardrums.